In Studio with WIP - Our Brief Selves Series
The key to the future is in the remnants of the past. You have to identify the idioms of your own time before you can have any identity in the present tense
— Bob Dylan

Deborah Bakos is an abstract and photo-based painter based in Vancouver. She was born and raised on the West Coast of British Columbia and has spent her adulthood living and working in large urban environments including Toronto and Istanbul.

Deborah holds a Certificate of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University and Bachelor of Education in English/Fine Arts/Media Studies from Simon Fraser University.

Her latest vintage photo-based work is an examination of the role media and advertisement continue to play in the gender politics that divide us. 

“While gender equality and identity politics remain at the center of global debate, my position remains firmly at the side of more than 50 percent of our world’s population. My current work is a response to the roles women continue to play within patriarchal boundaries. As bases for my mixed media pieces, I use photographs of women over the past 100 years to explore and comment on relationship hierarchies that have tipped the scales in men’s favour.  By altering the contexts of these photographs, placing women centre stage, I aim to expose contradictions and contribute to voices that can no longer be ignored.

The addition of textiles to my paintings is a nod to traditional “women’s work” that is often relegated to the realm of the inconsequential. It’s with a little tongue in cheek humour and a hint of menace that I aim to keep the dialogue around equality at the forefront of our collective conscience”.


Currently part of a vibrant community of artists in East Vancouver and a founding member of the collective, Parker Art Salon, Deborah exhibits her work locally and internationally. Along with her studio / exhibition practice, she provides workshops and painting demonstrations and organizes art events. Her latest project with the all-female collective, 13 Feet off the Ground, is a week-long art residency in Mexico painting “Puertas” for exhibition at Pez Gordo Gallery in San Jose Del Cabo.

Deborah also writes about art, her community and travel. She has been published in the Federation of Canadian Artists, Art Avenue Magazine, The Vancouver Sun Arts and Life and by the University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research. Her work can be found in both corporate and private collections in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.